Navigation Links
Kinesiology team gets $975,000 Defense grant to study effects of heavy loads on soldiers
Date:4/24/2012

AMHERST, Mass. A team of kinesiology researchers led by Richard Van Emmerik at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently received a 2.5-year, $975,000 grant through the Navy Health Research Center in the Department of Defense to study how the average 100-lb. equipment load carried by soldiers, which can be even heavier in some missions, affects their survivability, likelihood of injury and ability to carry out missions.

"Load is not a new issue for field commanders to consider," says Van Emmerik, who is director of UMass Amherst's Sensory-Motor Control Laboratory. "But while past studies typically focused on how load affects gait and the lower body, we will for the first time look at how the upper body, trunk and head coordinate in a soldier who is burdened by a heavy load, which is a fundamentally different and a more complex situation."

Doctoral candidate Christopher Palmer, an Army employee who is an expert in motor control and military performance and a key member of Van Emmerik's team, adds, "To us, gait is just the beginning. We'll introduce a visual search task and track the coordination of upper body, postural control and visual acuity. No study has yet added all these, plus other factors, together in a realistic way to look at how load affects the soldier's ability to perceive threats, his or her operational effectiveness and survivability in combat."

Findings will also have practical significance for firefighters, police, rescue workers and others who must wear helmets, body armor, backpacks or other equipment while carrying out their duties.

The kinesiology research team, which includes doctoral students Mike Busa and Luis Rosado, with post-doctoral fellows Darnell Simon and Jongil Lim, will recruit highly trained infantrymen as laboratory subjects who will be tested with no load as well as while carrying a variety of loads between 70 and 120 lbs. for the studies.

Van Emmerik notes, "Biomechanics has taught us a lot over the past 30 years about load and locomotion, stamina, oxygen use, energy use and so on. We'll expand to look at whether load affects reaction time, visual attention to critical details and the ability to discriminate friend or foe. We'll set up some fairly realistic tasks such as having a soldier jump off the back of a truck, scan an area, and then immediately hit targets in a marksmanship test."

In preliminary tests, Palmer says, they have used participants who are "fresh" and not fatigued. But as work progresses, they plan to also conduct tests with subjects who are tired to see if they have trouble recognizing friend or foe on a radio call or taking a marksmanship test wearing night vision goggles, for example. "We'll add different layers of stress in a smart progression so that we can understand what each layer is adding to the challenge."

Overall, the kinesiology research team would like to be able to report to the military a great deal of new knowledge about the physical and mental trade-offs and limitations that come with soldiers carrying heavy loads, and of which a field commander can be aware.

"We'd like to contribute to commanders being able to make better decisions about what can be accomplished under certain conditions," Van Emmerik says. "For example, if the protective equipment has to be x, y and z, where can you expect the sharp drop in performance and how can you balance that with mission success?"


'/>"/>
Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. A bit touchy: Plants insect defenses activated by touch
2. New immune defense enzyme discovered
3. Basketball-sized eyes help squids play defense
4. Tapping the bodys own defenses, researchers look to cutting-edge gene therapy for bladder cancer
5. Immunological defense mechanism leaves malaria patients vulnerable to deadly infection
6. How Salmonella forms evil twins to evade the bodys defenses
7. An unexpected player in a cancer defense system
8. Targeting bacterial gas defenses allow for increased efficacy of numerous antibiotics
9. GTSI Wins Department of Defense Contract to Provide Biometric Automated Toolset Systems for U.S. Army
10. Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense, 2nd edition
11. Rainbows without pigments offer new defense against fraud
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Kinesiology team gets $975,000 Defense grant to study effects of heavy loads on soldiers
(Date:2/21/2017)... Der weltweite Biobanking-Sektor wird bis zum Jahr 2018 ... mehr als 50 Vertretern aus verschiedenen Branchen wurde aber klar, ... Prognose zu realisieren. ... Zu den Schwierigkeiten für Biobanking-Profis ... die Biobank, die Implementierung Zeit sparender Technologien, ein besseres ...
(Date:2/14/2017)... , Feb. 14, 2017  Wake Forest Baptist ... as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Freischlag joins ... John D. McConnell , M.D., who last year ... at the Medical Center, after leading it since 2008. ... full scope of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic health system, ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... WASHINGTON , Feb. 13, 2017 Former ... U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Janice Kephart of ... regarding President Donald Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting ... States" (Jan. 27, 2017):  "As President Trump,s ... 9th Circuit has now essentially banned the travel ban, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... Rob Lowe is a well recognized television personality, ... "Informed," focuses on issues that are important to the American public and important to ... has been a hot topic around the world for a few years. , The ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Chef Jodi Abel has returned ... Making stops in several cities, she gained a number of delicious recipes and new ... a town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. It is internationally renowned for ...
(Date:2/24/2017)...  Driven by consumers, preference towards more natural ... growing categories, finds the recently published U.S. volume ... Multi-regional Market Analysis and Opportunities study by ... "Biotechnology actives are derived from natural ... for skin and hair care applications," explains ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Corporation (NASDAQ: VWR), the leading global independent provider of product ... its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ... 4Q16 record quarterly net sales of $1.13 billion, up ... 4Q16 EMEA-APAC segment net sales increased ... net sales increased 2.5%, or down 0.9% on an organic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: